Theft Tactics and Password Upkeep
Although the Internet is associated with a loss in privacy and confidential information, online purchasing is not the biggest risk to identity protection. In fact mailbox break-ins, stolen wallets and thieves searching through your trash are more plausible and realistic threats. Shredding old mail, locking the mailbox and only keeping the bare essentials in your wallet are the best preventative measures one can take.
Phishing is a common practice thieves use by sending emails that appear to come from genuine businesses. In reality, they trick people by having them supply account information to fix a non-existent problem in their account. Passwords and financial information are never asked by businesses through an email or text. To protect yourself from identity theft, make sure the sites you are signing into are credible and have the correct domain.
Emails Linked To Your Accounts
The best ID protection starts with prevention. Be sure that your banking institutions and other providers (e.g., cell phone, cable company) has a current and active email account. That way you can be alerted quickly and you can take action.
A Word About Password Strength
When choosing a password, it pays to be strong. A color bar will usually accompany you during the process, indicating the strength of your new password with three colors: green, red and yellow. Tips for strengthening passwords include mixing lower and uppercase letters, making it unique and refraining from using any easily available personal information. Using the first letter of each word in a phrase or song title can help, along with adding random numbers and punctuation. Adding a number to a single word will not increase the safety of your account; neither will a sequence of numbers and letters. Protect and don’t share your new password with others or use it with other online accounts. If this sounds too complicated, use a password vault (like LastPass) and use their password generator. A vault can then safely store your passwords for you.
Maintenance for ID Protection
Maintenance is a key element to ID protection. Here are five tips to help with ID protection:
Check your software to see if it has the latest security patch.
Monitor your credit report and financial balances for any strange activity.
Run antivirus programs frequently will help scan emails and a firewall can assist in protecting your network or computer from unauthorized access.
Change passwords frequently if you don’t use super-strong ones.
Be on the alert. The sooner you discover identity theft, the lower damage costs will be. The longer you wait, it just complicates the situation.
What other ID protection maintenance do you practice?